Evolutionary theory itself is already in a state of flux…
all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproven
Nice to hear the truth for a change. The paper drew on the work of James Shapiro (who by the way had co-authored a paper with Discovery Institute Fellow, Richard Sternberg here).
Jerry Coyne has a dislike of Shapiro’s writings:
I hate to give attention to my Chicago colleague James Shapiro’s bizarre ideas about evolution, which he publishes weekly on HuffPo rather than in peer-reviewed journals. His Big Idea is that natural selection has not only been overemphasized in evolution, but appears to play very little role at all. Even though he’s spreading nonsense in a widely-read place, I don’t go after him very often, for he just uses my criticisms as the basis of yet another abstruse and incoherent post. Like the creationists whose ideas he appropriates, he resembles those toy rubber clowns that are impossible to knock down…..
His never-ending attacks on natural selection and neo-Darwinian evolution should be an embarrassment to HuffPo, which will apparently publish anything since they don’t have to pay for it; but they’re also an embarrassment to me, for Shapiro works at my university and, in my view, his writings impugn our reputation for excellence in evolutionary biology.
So again, I tender my challenge: tell us, Dr. Shapiro: you’re always banging on about new sources of genetic variation, but you never seem quite able to tell us how that variation is translated into adaptive evolution. If it’s not natural selection, what is it?
Coyne thinks Shapiro has appropriated creationist ideas. Shapiro’s ideas are referenced in the above peer-reviewed article. I’d say that’s progress.
Coyne laments elsewhere of the battle between molecular biologists and evolutionary biologists:
Virtually all of the non-creationist opposition to the modern theory of evolution, and all of the minimal approbation of Shapiro’s views, come from molecular biologists. I’m not sure whether there’s something about that discipline (the complexity of molecular mechanisms?) that makes people doubt the efficacy of natural selection, or whether it’s simply that many molecular biologists don’t get a good grounding in evolutionary biology.
Coyne laments molecular biologists haven’t been sufficiently indoctrinated with evolutionary biology. Paul Nelson once observed:
molecular biology graduate students (for instance) don’t know much, or any, evolutionary theory… Students don’t see the point of storytelling. They could take a Fiction Writing course for that.
It was nice to see Coyne’s name not mentioned in this article, and the only mention of Richard Dawkins was in reference to Dawkins mistakes.